BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuProtein electrophoresis - serumSPEPThis lab test measures the types of protein in the fluid (serum) part of a blood sample. This fluid is called serum. How the Test is Performed A blood sample is needed.Blood sampleVenipuncture is the collection of blood from a vein. It is most often done for laboratory testing.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article In the lab, the technician places the blood sample on special paper and applies an electric current. The proteins move on the paper and form bands that show the amount of each protein. How to Prepare for the Test You may be asked not to eat or drink for 12 hours before this test.Certain medicines may affect the results of this test. Your health care provider will tell you if you need to stop taking any medicines. Do not stop any medicine before talking to your provider. How the Test will Feel When the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people feel moderate pain. Others feel only a prick or stinging. Afterward, there may be some throbbing or a slight bruise. This soon goes away. Why the Test is Performed Proteins are made from amino acids and are important parts of all cells and tissues. There are many different kinds of proteins in the body, and they have many different functions. Examples of proteins include enzymes, certain hormones, hemoglobin, low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or bad cholesterol), and others.Amino acidsAmino acids are molecules that combine to form proteins. Amino acids and proteins are the building blocks of life. When proteins are digested or bro...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article HemoglobinHemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen. The hemoglobin test measures how much hemoglobin is in your blood.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Serum proteins are classified as albumin or globulins. Albumin is the most abundant protein in the serum. It carries many small molecules. It is also important for keeping fluid from leaking out from the blood vessels into the tissues.Globulins are divided into alpha-1, alpha-2, beta, and gamma globulins. In general, alpha and gamma globulin protein levels increase when there is inflammation in the body.Lipoprotein electrophoresis determines the amount of proteins made up of protein and fat, called lipoproteins (such as LDL cholesterol). Normal Results Normal value ranges are:Total protein: 6.4 to 8.3 grams per deciliter (g/dL) or 64 to 83 grams per liter (g/L) Albumin: 3.5 to 5.0 g/dL or 35 to 50 g/L Alpha-1 globulin: 0.1 to 0.3 g/dL or 1 to 3 g/L Alpha-2 globulin: 0.6 to 1.0 g/dL or 6 to 10 g/L Beta globulin: 0.7 to 1.2 g/dL or 7 to 12 g/L Gamma globulin: 0.7 to 1.6 g/dL or 7 to 16 g/LThe examples above are common measurements for results of these tests. Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or test different samples. Talk to your provider about the meaning of your specific results. What Abnormal Results Mean Decreased total protein may indicate:Abnormal loss of protein from the digestive tract or the inability of the digestive tract to absorb proteins (protein-losing enteropathy) Protein-losing enteropathyProtein-losing enteropathy is an abnormal loss of protein from the digestive tract. It can also refer to the inability of the digestive tract to abs...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Malnutrition MalnutritionMalnutrition is the condition that occurs when your body does not get enough nutrients.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Kidney disorder called nephrotic syndrome Nephrotic syndromeNephrotic syndrome is a group of symptoms that include protein in the urine, low blood protein levels in the blood, high cholesterol levels, high tri...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Scarring of the liver and poor liver function (cirrhosis) CirrhosisCirrhosis is scarring of the liver and poor liver function. It is the last stage of chronic liver disease.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Increased alpha-1 globulin proteins may be due to:Acute inflammatory disease Cancer Chronic inflammatory disease (for example, rheumatoid arthritis, SLE) Rheumatoid arthritisRheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a disease that leads to inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues. It is a long-term disease. It can also aff...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article SLESystemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease. In this disease, the immune system of the body mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. It c...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Decreased alpha-1 globulin proteins may be a sign of:Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiencyAlpha-1 antitrypsin deficiencyAlpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency is a condition in which the body does not make enough of AAT, a protein that protects the lungs and liver from d...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Increased alpha-2 globulin proteins may indicate a:Acute inflammation Chronic inflammation Decreased alpha-2 globulin proteins may indicate:Breakdown of red blood cells (hemolysis) HemolysisHemolysis is the breakdown of red blood cells.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Increased beta globulin proteins may indicate:A disorder in which the body has problems breaking down fats (for example, hyperlipoproteinemia, familial hypercholesterolemia) Familial hypercholesterolemiaFamilial hypercholesterolemia is a disorder that is passed down through families. It causes LDL (bad) cholesterol level to be very high. The condit...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Estrogen therapy Decreased beta globulin proteins may indicate:Abnormally low level of LDL cholesterol CholesterolCholesterol is a soft, wax-like substance found in all parts of the body. Your body needs a little bit of cholesterol to work properly. But too muc...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Malnutrition Increased gamma globulin proteins may indicate:Blood cancers, including multiple myeloma, Waldenström macroglobulinemia, lymphomas, and chronic lymphocytic leukemias Waldenström macroglobulinemiaWaldenström macroglobulinemia (WM) is a cancer of the B lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell). WM is associated with the overproduction of protei...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Chronic inflammatory disease (for example, rheumatoid arthritis) Rheumatoid arthritisRheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a disease that leads to inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues. It is a long-term disease. It can also aff...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Acute infection Chronic liver diseaseLiver diseaseThe term "liver disease" applies to many conditions that stop the liver from working or prevent it from functioning well. Abdominal pain, yellowing ...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Risks There is little risk involved with having your blood taken. Veins and arteries vary in size from one person to another, and from one side of the body to the other. Taking blood from some people may be more difficult than from others.Other risks associated with having blood drawn are slight, but may include:Excessive bleeding Fainting or feeling lightheaded Multiple punctures to locate veins Hematoma (blood buildup under the skin) Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)Open ReferencesReferencesChernecky CC, Berger BJ. Protein electrophoresis - serum. In: Chernecky CC, Berger BJ, eds. Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures. 6th ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:917-920.Munshi NC, Jagannath S. Plasma cell neoplasms. In: Hoffman R, Benz EJ, Silberstein LE, et al, eds. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 86.Warner EA, Herold AH. Interpreting laboratory tests. In: Rakel RE, Rakel DP, eds. Textbook of Family Medicine. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 14.AllVideoImagesTogBlood test - illustration Blood is drawn from a vein (venipuncture), usually from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. A needle is inserted into the vein, and the blood is collected in an air-tight vial or a syringe. Preparation may vary depending on the specific test.Blood testillustrationBlood test - illustration Blood is drawn from a vein (venipuncture), usually from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. A needle is inserted into the vein, and the blood is collected in an air-tight vial or a syringe. Preparation may vary depending on the specific test.Blood testillustration Tests for Protein electrophoresis - serum Protein electrophoresis - serumSerum globulin electrophoresisRelated Information Immunoelectrophoresis - blood(Medical Test)Immunofixation blood test(Medical Test)Serum globulin electrophoresis(Medical Test)Amino acids(Special Topic)Hemoglobin(Medical Test)Fibrinogen blood test(Medical Test)Antibody(Special Topic)Total protein(Medical Test)Alpha-1 antitrypsin blood test(Medical Test)T3 test(Medical Test)Cholesterol(In-Depth)Rheumatoid arthritis(In-Depth)Systemic lupus erythematosus(In-Depth) Review Date: 2/6/2020 Reviewed By: Todd Gersten, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, Wellington, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. 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